The New Frontier of Arcade Games

By R.L. Fielding

The popularity of arcade games is booming. Despite a decline in numbers since their glory days in the 1980s, new arcade facilities are springing up in shopping malls and restaurants around the country. This resurgence is sparked in part by nostalgia for classic arcades games such as Pac Man and Space Invaders, but also by the advent of online games such Mahjong and Slingo Millennium.

Kids and adults alike are now able to enjoy arcade-style games by visiting coin-operated video arcades or while using a computer in the comfort of their home, school or office. Thanks to the Internet, anyone regardless of age, platform or location can practice, play and enjoy arcade-style games in their free time.

Why Arcade Games?

More than half of the 117-million active game players in the US play online games, reveals Nielsen Entertainment’s 2006 Active Gamer Benchmark Study. These online game players often favor arcade-style games because they are easily mastered yet increase in difficulty as players move to new levels. Short game levels also provide players with the flexibility to play in quick bursts throughout the day or to settle in for hours of fun. Simple story lines and likeable characters make the games family-friendly and engaging for players of all ages.

Why Play Games Online?

Why not? With so many of today’s business transactions, like banking and shopping, happening online, it only seems natural that when Web-surfers feel like taking a time-out, they download their favorite card, bingo, strategy or arcade-style games.

While online, people can access and play the games they love right on their very own computers, mobile phones or hand-held PDAs. Playing games online is not only fun and easy, it’s also convenient and relatively inexpensive compared to visiting a local coin-operated arcade or buying a vintage arcade game that would take up space in your home.

And although you may not have guessed it, men aren’t the only ones who spend a large amount of time playing games online. In fact, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) reported that adult women are almost twice as likely as men to spend 20 hours per week playing PC games.

The most popular online games among women tend to be those which are quick and easy to pick up. Games that don’t require inordinate amounts of time or intense focus are favorable among women, perhaps because of the increasing responsibilities today’s women juggle. Work, child rearing and other household duties leave little time for extended leisure activities. Online arcade-style games provide a fun break from the daily routine that refreshes without taking too much time and energy.

Fun for the Whole Family

Online games can be fun and a real bonding experience for the whole family. Children have become increasingly Web-savvy, both inside and outside the classroom. As a result, parents are looking to replace old-fashioned board games with kid-safe online games. Not only can mom and dad rest assured that online arcade games won’t contain adult content, parents will be happy to know that there are numerous online games that can be used as educational tools. Alternating physical play with today’s plethora of online games offers a healthy balance and gives the brain the workout it needs.

Online games are also something the family can enjoy as a group. “Game Night” is still a great way to bring the family together—it’s just that the medium has changed. By keeping up with the times, parents can help ensure that their children stay engaged, interested and, above all, have fun.

The Internet has both introduced arcade-style games to new players and helped old fans get reacquainted with the games they love. Although the popularity of arcade-style games may wax and wane, players have made it clear that these classic casual games are here to stay.

About Slingo

Slingo.com is a leading online destination for people who enjoy playing games, winning prizes and having fun. Slingo offers free, original online games, free multiplayer tournaments, downloadable games, and contests with cash prizes, as well as a social-networking community for game players. For more information, please visit http://www.slingo.com.

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